An “Askew” Insider’s Look
by Phoenix Theatre
“Cockeyed, wonky, oblique, lopsided; basically the way I see life every minute of every day. That’s what inspired me to write the quartet of shorts included in Askew for SFF2017. I fall in love at least once daily. The only problem is that after my initial wave of elation is dashed by some sharp poke from reality, it’s already too late and my heart lies shattered on the floor in a million pieces.
In “Salt” the nuisance of reality reminds two strangers that love at first sight can be as elusive an muddled as one slice of perfectly salted lemon merengue pie. Ben is an underachieving slog, (like many of the men I dated for most of my life.) He’s trying to find time to earn cash without missing cupcake wars or bad movie night with the guys. But fortune smiles upon him when his rich old pal gifts him with the perfect leather armchair, complete with secret olfactory pedigree.
‘The Chair’ follows Ben’s journey from perpetual unemployment to marketing director of the swankiest design firm in Seattle. But staying true to himself isn’t as easy as following the straight and narrow. Getting old sucks! Especially if you’re a slightly deluded female actor in Hollywood. Emily sees sitcoms in her future. But Jeremy is determined to shine the light of reality on Emily’s warped self-image. Along with the help of naive young waitress/actress, Syrah, Emily is forced to confront a brutal intervention targeted to obliterate her Age Affective Disorder (AAD) and refocus her mangled view of reality.
‘Presbyopia’ reminds all of us that sometimes it’s easier to see the world as you’d like it to be rather than in it’s harsh, poorly lit actuality.
But ‘Rose Colored Spectacles’ is my homage to seeing the world with pink gels and soft focus lighting. To some, Rose appears insane, misreading signs, misinterpreting signals, and laughing about family hardships, societal schisms and the deterioration of the world as she knew it. Rose’s indefatigable determination to rejoice in life’s inevitable quirkiness sums up my perpetual state of mind as I muddle through time and space trying to figure out life, love and relationships. As my life mentor, Dr. Seuss, once said, ‘Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.’ “